Vietnam tourism 2018 in numbers

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- In 2018, Vietnam tourism continued its sustainable growth in inbound and domestic visitors and tourism receipts.

Inbound tourism

In 2018, Viet Nam welcomed 15,497,791 international visitor arrivals, 19.9% higher than 2017.

International visitors from 10 leading source markets reached 12,861,000 arrivals, accounting for 83% of the total international visitor arrivals to Viet Nam in 2018.

Northeast Asia strengthened the position of leading source market of Viet Nam. China recorded 4,966,468 arrivals (+23.9%), representing the biggest share of 32% of the total. It was followed by South Korea with 3,485,406 arrivals (+44.3%), accounting for 22.5%, Japan with 826,674 arrivals (+3.6%) and Taiwan with 714,112 arrivals (+15.9%).

The United States – the fifth source market of Vietnam tourism increased by 11.9% in 2018 to 687,226 arrivals. Russia ranked sixth with 606,637 arrivals (+5.7%).

Two markets of ASEAN, Malaysia and Thailand placed at 7th and 9th positions with 540,119 arrivals (+12.4%) and 349,319 arrivals (+15.8%) respectively. Australia kept in the 8th position with 386,934 arrivals (+4.5%).

The United Kingdom, one of the 5 Western European countries exempted from entry visa to Viet Nam since 2015, stood at the 10th position with 298,114 arrivals (+5.1%).

International visitors to Viet Nam in 2018 nearly doubled the number in 2015.

According to the World Tourism Organization, Viet Nam ranked 3rd among 10 destinations recording the fastest growth of international visitors in 2018, after ranking 6th in 2017.

However, the growth rate of international visitors tended to decrease in both relative growth rate and absolute number of arrivals: 19.9% (equal to 2.6 million arrivals) in 2018 compared to 29% (equal to 2.9 million arrivals) in 2017.

Generally, the number of international visitors to Viet Nam was high in the first 4 months and the last about 3 months of the year, and low in the middle of the year. The highest number was seen in February with 1,431,845 arrivals. Low season of inbound tourism fell in May with the least number of tourist arrivals (1,161,114 arrivals).

In 2018, Vietnam tourism reached double-digit growth in 10 months (except for August and December). Especially, January recorded the highest growth rate of 42% compared to January of 2017.

10 source markets recording the highest growth included: South korea (+44.3%), Hong kong (+30.4%), Finland (+24.9%), China (+23.9%), Taiwan (+15.9%),  Thailand  (+15.9%),  Denmark (+15.0%), the Philippines (+13.6%), Italy (+13.0%), Sweden (+12.9%) and Malaysia (+12.4%).

Accounting for 77.9% of the total inbound arrivals to Viet Nam in 2018, Asia consolidated its position as the biggest source market of Vietnam tourism. Inbound arrivals from Europe represented the proportion of 13.1% (including 6% from 5 Western European countries of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Spain; and 3.9% from Russia); 5.8% from the Americas, 5.4% from the United States and Canada; 2.9% from Oceania and 0.3% from Africa.

In 2018, there were 12,484,987 international visitors traveling to Viet Nam by air, up 14.4% over 2017 and representing 80.5% of the total. International visitors to Viet Nam by land increased significantly by 59.6%, reaching 2,797,498 arrivals, accounting for 18.1% of the total.

Domestic tourism

Domestic visitors in 2018 reached 80 million, representing a year-on-year increase of 9%, of which 38.6 million were overnight visitors.


Economic impact of tourism

In 2018, Vietnam tourism earned VND637,000 billion in total tourism receipts, 17.7% higher than the previous year, including VND 383,000 billion from international visitors (accounting for 60.1%) and VND 254,000 billion from domestic visitors (accounting for 39.9%10 leading source markets contributed 83,0% of the total inbound arrivals to Viet Nam and 78.2% of the total international tourism receipts.

Two biggest source markets of China and South Korea accounted for 32.0% and 22.5% of the total inbound arrivals respectively. However, the proportions in the total international tourism receipts of these two markets are almost equal, 24.7% compared to 24.0%.

Although visitors from USA, Russia and Australia constituted only 10.8% of the total inbound visitors, these markets contributed 14.9% of the total tourism receipts. This showed typical features of visitors from long-haul markets: high spending and long stay.

Source: Vietnam Tourism Annual Report 2018